I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 32:5
King David is clear in today’s scripture about the importance of words in the process of repentance. He’s not preaching a sermon to his subjects. He’s reveals his own path back to God by letting us hear the nature of his personal prayer.
Imagine if you had a prodigal son who spurned your love and went off on a long journey. You mourned for him, prayed for him, and waited for his return. One day, you wake up to see him sleeping in his old room. He gets up in the morning and says little. It’s obvious that he’s come home to stay because he unpacked completely, started engaging in household routines but gave no explanation about where’s been or why he’s come back. It wouldn’t be long until you’d erupt and say, “Look, we have to talk about this. Where have you been? What have you been doing? Why are you home?”
We can never stray from God and go back without a language of repentance and self-disclosure. “Lord, I went away because ___________. I’ve been off doing _______________. My heart feels ______________. Please forgive me for ____________.”
The only way to make a solid return is with words. It’s not because He needs to hear them. Unlike we human parents, He knows the thoughts and intents of His children’s hearts. We need to speak because, by speaking, we are changed. The dam breaks and acknowledgement of our actions and feelings brings what was hidden into the Light. The elephant in the room of our relationship with God has been acknowledged.
Words are a gift we give to God that only come back to benefit us in the long run. When we speak words of repentance, we are bathed in forgiveness. When we speak words of praise, we are delivered from the chains of darkness. When we speak words that reveal our own story, we gain self-awareness. When we speak words of faith, we surmount the barriers of unbelief. When we sing, we push back the darkness. Let’s take our words and live in the presence of the Lord today.
If I am wordless, I am poor. Breathe on my tongue, Jesus. Release my language of remorse and repentance. Amen